Special Delivery: Incredible Art on Its Way to Discovery Corner!

Exciting things are happening in Discovery West! With the grand opening of Discovery Corner only a few months away, our hardworking crews are preparing the neighborhood community plaza for its debut as the hub of Discovery West.

Elegant concrete benches have been built in the center of the plaza and are awaiting the installation of two art pieces. Keeping with the neighborhood theme of celebrating Women of Discovery, two talented female Oregon artists were commissioned to create artworks inspired by exploration and wonder.

Pinecone Fire Pit Sculpture, by Oregon City artist Jenny Ellsworth

At the heart of Discovery Corner will be a large fire pit sculpture, crafted by artist Jenny Ellsworth of Fairy Forge in Oregon City. The steel plate sculpture, which stands six feet tall and weighs over 600 pounds, is a 3D interpretation of the Discovery West pinecone logo.

Jenny, who has created other pinecone sculptures from recycled shovelheads in the past, takes a holistic approach when taking on a new project. “When I create certain sculptures, I tap into where it’s going to be, who’s going to be enjoying it, and how they can connect to it,” she said. For this interpretation, the pinecone was laser-cut from steel and assembled with six “fins” that provide guests with alternative views from different angles and allow fire to burn in the negative space within the piece.

With its function as a fire pit, Jenny envisions the sculpture as being an ideal place for community members to congregate. “For it to be in a community setting and having all the benches and the greenery around it, this beautiful pinecone just naturally sitting there… I really feel like it’s going to be a destination spot for people to meet.”

As the centerpiece of Discovery Corner, the sculpture serves as a representation of Discovery West and a reminder of the appreciation the neighborhood has for the natural world. The finished sculpture has been delivered to Bend and is anticipated to be installed later this month.

Tile Mosaic Murals, by Bend artist Rochelle Schueler

Spiraling out from the pinecone sculpture will be a series of mosaics adorning the concrete surfaces of the plaza. These seven inlaid tile mosaic murals, created by Rochelle Rose Schueler of Wild Rose Artworks, will be placed on the outside of the concrete fire pit ring and the vertical surfaces of the benches and planters surrounding the fire pit sculpture.

When designing the murals, Rochelle harnessed her background in the sciences. “I have degrees in forestry and hydrology and the natural world is a big thing for me,” she said. “I draw a lot of inspiration from my art from the natural world.” Rochelle sourced the tiles in Los Angeles on a trip to visit her grandson in San Diego, choosing subtle tones of browns, reds, golds, and blues meant to evoke scenes from the High Desert.

“I continued with the neighborhood theme of discovery,” Rochelle said when describing the process of conceptualizing the murals. “I went through discovery through science and specifically, physics and the mechanical waves of physics.” Back in Bend, she began the meticulous process of cutting and arranging the tiles in her Discovery West studio.

As a resident of Discovery West, Rochelle finds this project to be especially meaningful. “I’m really happy to get to do this project in my neighborhood and happy to be able to share my art with all my neighbors,” she said. Rochelle is completing fabrication of 240 sq ft of tile work in her studio. The mosaics will be installed in sections and grout in place over the next few months.


Discovery Corner Grand Opening, October 4-5

As we look forward to the opening of Discovery Corner, we anticipate that these artworks by Jenny and Rochelle will help create a unique and vibrant sense of place and make the plaza the ideal place for residents to gather. Mark your calendars now and plan to join us for The Launch at Discovery Corner on October 4th and 5th to see these stunning installations in person. The weekend-long, family-friendly event will feature special guest Dr. Ellen Ochoa – an astronaut and pioneer of science and one of our Women of Discovery after whom we named one of our streets. Kids and adults alike will love the drone show, food carts and other special happenings taking place all weekend long.